President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday urged Nigerians to channel their energy and resources toward values which unite the country rather than divisive debate.
He gave the advice in his remarks at the 2017 Eid al Adha lunch in Abuja where he was represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
The president noted that the country was deliberately made by God to be diverse, adding that diversity was the strength of the nation.
“Our energy and resources should not be spent on debates about division of the country; we must focus our minds on what God wants us to be.
“We should build that nation that God wants us to build from the beginning, ’’ he stated.
Referring to the pains associated with child delivery, the president observed that “all that we are hearing today is the noise and pain of that country that God wants to give birth to.’’
He reaffirmed his belief in one indissoluble country, saying God had given the country enormous human and material resources to be great.
The president explained that Nigerians were carrying out exploits in many parts of the world and urged the elite to make such sacrifice that Prophet Ibrahim made to sacrifice his son for the attainment of the destiny of his people.
Buhari recalled that in spite of the successes recorded in degrading Boko Haram insurgency in the North East Zone, pockets of opportunistic attacks were still being carried out by the terrorists.
He, however, said that such attacks were temporary.
The president advised Nigerians to always remember the significance of the Eid celebration of sacrifice which was what gave God excitement about those He created.
According to him, God loves the willingness to make great sacrifice and Prophet Ibrahim made the sacrifice to fulfil his destiny and that of his nation.
Earlier, the wife of the president, Aisha Buhari, represented by the Interior Minister, Abdulrahman Danbazau, used the opportunity to thank Nigerians for their prayers and support for Buhari while he was out of the country.
Aisha recalled the successes recorded by the country under the then Acting President Osinbajo and called for more support for the administration.
She also thanked Nigerians for sustaining the peace in the country and urged them not to relent as there could be no meaningful development without peace.
Goodwill messages were also delivered by some Christian faithful invited to the lunch.
Former Christian Association of Nigeria Chairman in FCT, Mr Israel Akanji, noted that it was the nature of Islam and Christianity to invite non adherents to participate in their celebrations.
He said the welfare of the Muslim is the welfare of the Christian as well as the joy of all.
“We are all to live as one and to promote oneness of Nigeria’’ Akanji added.
A guest lecturer, Dr Mainsuna Yahaya, who spoke on the significance of the Eid al Adha, said it had spiritual, social economic and civilisation imperatives which all should endeavour to achieve.
The Director-General of the Voice of Nigeria, Mr Osita Okechulwu, in a vote of thanks said the country’s journey was endless but fruitful.
He said the Buhari administration was nurturing a better nation amidst dwindling resources.